Saturday, January 24, 2009

Put me out of my misery [unedited]

Okay. So I copied Michan's [associate editor] idea and kept a notebook. I have been keeping notebooks all my life to jot down notes, reminders, ideas, and etc., but usually they're messy, unintelligible and sometimes I just don't have the energy to read it. I copied Michan's lead and kept a neater notebook. Last night I divided stuff into pages, from the meaningful long-term and short-term goals to the mundane stuff to buy lists. I thought my life would be better if I started to organize my thoughts and my life but I didn't expect I would break down, cry, and want to be put out of my misery.

I couldn't believe at how much stuff I needed to accomplish before the end of this month. I couldn't believe how lax I have been, considering I have this much stuff to do. From completing my short stories to putting the January and February issue of The Perpetualite to rest, I am up to my ears in responsibility. And believe me, I am a tall person.

Most of my worries stem from the paper. Being an editor is fun, but it sure is bloody. In my manic attempt to dissect articles, I have forgotten to write mine. I am nowhere near half of the donkey work. Luckily, we'll be publishing a magazine for February so I don't need to write a column. And there's the tremendous pressure in the space between school and the paper. I have to keep up a GPA of 2.50 and above to keep my editor status. I barely passed the mark this sem. so I'm safe. But what about next semester? Next semester will be one of the defining moments of my life. The position of editor-in-chief will be open and I want the position so bad. My desire to be top dog is so bad, it hurts. Lately, hints are being dropped like the Big Boy at Hiroshima. Michan has been teaching me how to layout. She gave me tips on how to publish the paper. Staffers keep asking me how I'll run the paper and if I'll be strict. Michan even told me not to disappoint the staffers! Could a hint even be bigger than that?! I want to be EIC. But I'm worried about my GPA. I dropped my NSTP (for the nth time) so I have to pull in extra effort. I make exceptional grades in my majors, scoring the highest in quizzes and exams, but what about the minors? And I missed a long quiz. OMG. And the NSTP! Why the hell did I drop it in the first place? I'm scared. I'm shit scared. I'm terrified. I believe that I'll make a good editor what with my attention to detail and my perfectionist attitude but what if I don't make the cut? It's the exams next week and I haven't studied!

But I'll make it. Believe me, I will. I've been through worse, and I'm still here. Never mind the eyebags and the heart attacks. It's all in the makeup and the surgery. But not even death will keep me away from that EIC position.

Sorry, no time to pull of a Carrie Bradshaw. Writing articles. Read my Twitter if you want on-the-dot newsfeed:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change... Because I believe in.

Today (midnight Filipino time) Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th president and 1st black president of the United States. Watching the campaign, I know the elections have become a circus, primarily because of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. In the end however, Obama came out - victorious, and today will be the culmination of his hard work.

Hay. When will the Philippines have a leader like Obama? I think we have suffered enough. I'm tired of watching the news and seeing nothing but DOJ briberies, fertilizer fund scams, Euro Generals and whatever else we have yet to uncover. Really. I'm so fucking tired. Did you know that I cried when I first saw Will.I.Am's video of It's A New Day? When will we have our new day? Tang ina, that was how affected I was when Obama won. I was jealous.

I saw a feature on ANC about how Obama will inherit the problems George W. Bush has left behind. We have yet to know whether he is capable of the job [there are times when I think McCain would do a better job because he is a seasoned politican], but his platform, his message: change, whew. It really is something. That's what Americans need. That's what Filipinos need. Yes, a platform of change may be vague, romantic even, but sometimes what we need is a dreamer. Someone who is willing to take risks, who can step out of the box and someone who is not afraid to make change and revolutionize history. Because sometimes change is more than a change of outfits.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I can go on and on and on.

I've been an editor for a couple of months but this is the first time I've felt the stress that comes with being one of the top dogs. I have to constantly harass the writers, check on how their articles are doing, edit and coordinate with the other editors on how to run the organization. If being a Features editor is this stressful, I could only imagine how hard it must be being the editor-in-chief. There is also tremendous pressure because the next issue will be my first column and I want it to be perfect. Weeks after I submitted it, I still check it, looking at the tiniest details and my choice of words. I hem, I haw, and check typographical errors and the most minute errors in grammar. Add to that the stress of picking the picture that will be displayed next to my column and my interview with the school's owner and tell me who wouldn't break down and cry!

Without a doubt, features is one of the most demanding parts of any publication. Let's be honest. Not a lot of people read the news, especially when it's a quarterly publication [save for GQ and Metro hiM]. Most go straight to the features - or the stuff that you see on the cover. As the editor of that section, a lot is expected of me. I have to think of innovative topics, maybe even a few controversial ones. Squeeze the writers of every last drop of creative cum to get ideas. Like what I mentioned, I have to harass them constantly to make sure they haven't forgotten their deadlines. On the same vein, I have to be nice, warm, friendly. There is truth in the saying that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Once they submit their articles - the real task begins. I have to edit. Editing is a task in itself because you have to correct errors - from spelling to sentence construction to conviction and choice of words. As a writer, I am very particular with words and avoid redundancy at all costs. Editing is hard because you have to right wrongs without reducing the article to a blank page. What's hard is you can't put yourself in it. After all, it's not your article.

I initially had misgivings about accepting the position. I can be terribly lazy and unreliable and my level of commitment usually goes down the drain after the first obstacle. I can't really say that I'm a quitter, but I tend to lose interest along the way. Subconsciously [yes, I psychoanalyze myself], I am afraid of responsibility. Mostly, I am afraid of failing but to a certain extent, failure is in conjunction with responsibility, especially when you are responsible for a whole group of people. I guess the only reason I took the position because it would be cool to be an editor. I know it's selfish of me to take the position because of its coolness factor, but I had my reasons.

However, as I was doing my first rounds of editing last Friday, I surprisingly found it easy. Slipping into the shoes of editor seemed as comfortable as slipping into a favorite pair of bedroom slippers. I felt at ease. At home. Most importantly, I enjoyed. Maybe the reason why I make a good editor is because I am a perfectionist and a detail-freak. I realized that I could be doing this for the rest of my life. Editing. Writing. Although my future looks bright in the field of psychology [as compared to non-Psychology graduates], I realized that at the bottom of my heart, writing is my passion.

It is tiring. It is mentally exhausting and emotionally draining. Last night, to blow off steam, I went to Mall of Asia with the folks to have dinner and watch Bedtime Stories. After the movie, I went to Ascend with Gio and Ysa where I got rat-faced on Jack Daniels and J├Ąger. A perfect way to abandon all types of responsibility and just go on and on and on.
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